“The Flea is essentially a poem about getting laid…”
…my English teacher said as she walked into the class of half-sleeping college students.
I, like everyone else around me, had been desperately gulping down coffee in an attempt to retain the little information I’d garnered from last night’s reading, but this got my attention.
“John Donne is using the metaphor of the flea to get the girl he’s with to sleep with him.”
That’s right, we have officially not progressed past the early 1600’s, and in fact have possibly declined in the amount of effort we are currently willing to put forth to get someone in bed.
Because the last time I checked most guys of datable caliber in my current social circle do not know what a metaphor is, and would be more apt to drink beer with the bros then sit around penning poetry. (Which is more of a testimony to the severity of the low male-athlete academia level, and not to my choice of friends. I swear).
Regardless, had Donne lived in the present day I must admit that he would have been far more successful at getting down than he was back in 1590. Not that we don’t all love playing hard to get, but generally nowadays that implies demanding dinner, not sonnets, before sex.
And frankly, well…fuck that.
More should be demanded of someone wishing to get under our shirts and sheets ladies, and really, what are we here for if not to raise the bar and require men to either shape up or ship out? Because even Donne’s muse asked for something more, and got it by way of a series of poems dedicated to her eternal beauty and awe-inspiring love.
So no, I do not expect a love sonnet at my door after the first date, but modern equivalents are out there, I believe, and they do not come by way of a text message asking “Wut u up 2?” at 12:30am.
Zoe Schiffer grew up in the lush southern coast of California, where she began writing and reading voraciously at an early age. Her love of traveling has brought her all over the world, and it is a passion she still obtains, though currently tethered down in the Washington area by Seattle University, where she is in her second year. A student of yoga, she takes her practice on the road as often as possible, always trying to gain new experience (and writing material) through travel and adventure.
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